The momentum behind the girls’ wrestling pilot program in Colorado continues to grow.

This weekend at the Jimmy John’s Northern Colorado Christmas Tournament, female grapplers representing 38 schools hit the mats at the Budweiser Events Center.

Area wrestlers did quite well as Shenin Steele of Lewis-Palmer (105 pounds), Sarah Savidge of Doherty (127) and Bella Mitchell of Vista Ridge (185) took top honors in their respective weight classes.

As far as sheer numbers go, Doherty led the contingent, bringing eight wrestlers to the prestigious event.

“The kids are excited to see the program growing, and they definitely were nervous before their first matches on that stage,” Spartans wrestling coach Josh Galvan said. “They wrestled well, and I have no doubt that this will be a varsity sport very soon. The girls are ready for this sport, and some still don’t know about this opportunity. I think more will get involved when they find out they don’t have to wrestle against boys anymore.”

In February, boys’ volleyball, girls’ wrestling and unified bowling all were approved to begin pilot seasons by the Colorado High School Activities Association board of directors. It’s the first step toward official sanctioning by CHSAA, which has not added a sport since boys’ lacrosse in 1999.

Pine Creek boys’ hoops in unchartered territory

Move over hockey team, there’s another squad at Pine Creek that’s off to a fast start this winter season.

The boys’ basketball team improved to 5-0 Saturday after pulling away from Air Academy, 84-50 at the Pueblo East Coaches Classic, its best start since getting out of the gates 6-0 way back in 2006-07.

“It feels like a lot of hard work by our players and staff is finally starting to pay off,” fifth-season coach Joe Rausch said. “We definitely haven’t had a start like this since I’ve been at Pine Creek. It’s really neat, and I think the guys are enjoying the ride so far. This is a fun start. That’s all it is. The guys set goals, and a good start was one, but not the only one.”

The Eagles will hope to match that historic 6-0 start on Friday when they host Pueblo South and might regain the services of leading 3-point shooter Peyton Westfall and big man Colton Yaeger, who have been nursing ankle injuries.

Rampart swim coach to stop multi-tasking

For the past four seasons, Dan Greene had coached both boys’ and girls’ swim programs at Rampart.

Now, with a family deeply involved in sports that he doesn’t want to miss anymore, Greene recently stepped down as boys’ coach.

“It was a difficult decision to give up the boys’ team,” Greene said. “I really enjoyed coaching that group of guys. It’s mostly so I can spend more time with the family. I have four kids in sports including two in high school, and I’d like to be there as a dad. I stayed on as girls’ coach because I love coaching this team and my girls are all swimmers, so it made sense.”

Greene had spent 12 seasons as boys’ coach at Rampart.

Two Liberty boys’ golfers sign letters of intent

Tyler Barcelon and Alex Ruggles, who helped Liberty win the 5A Colorado Springs Metro League title by 120 strokes, both signed national letters of intent to attend school and play golf at Lamar Community College.

They were feted at a ceremony Saturday at Cherokee Ridge Golf Course.

Etc.

Meredith Rees, a senior at The Classical Academy who swims for Lewis-Palmer, won two events at Saturday’s Rex Abelein Memorial at Veterans Memorial Aquatics Center in Thornton, one of only two girls to accomplish that feat. She touched first in the 50-yard freestyle and 100 backstroke. … Kylee Blacksten scored 20 points to lead Air Academy to a 44-38 win over previously unbeaten Pueblo West on Saturday at the Pueblo County Holiday Tournament. For her efforts, Blacksten, a junior who has offers from Air Force, Colorado, Wyoming, Northern Colorado and VCU, was named most valuable player. Mesa Ridge junior Serin Dunne was named to the all-tournament team after play at the Cherry Creek/Dakota Ridge Tip-Off Classic. … Cheyenne Mountain’s Javonte Johnson, another junior, is the state’s leading boys' scorer – regardless of classification – at 27.0 points per game following a 39-point effort Saturday in an Indians win against Pueblo County.

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